Happy Saturday and welcome! Today I’m back with two bitesized reviews of short story collections that I enjoyed and wanted to tell you a little something about.
First up today is Full Throttle, a surprisingly eclectic mix of short stories by Joe Hill, a few of which are written in collaboration with his father Stephen King. I had expected horror, but Full Throttle covers many other genres as well, varying from thriller to fantasy with a sci-fi tale added in for good measure. Hill takes us to a Narnia-like world, to the circus, to hell and back, to war, to the future. As seems to be my fate with any short story collection, I loved some, liked others, and found some just a little bit meh. Overall, though, it was definitely worth my money and my time.
For me, two stories jumped out. All I Care About Is You is set in the future and is essentially about human interaction with robots, but also human nature, and the humanity of humanoid robots. I was entirely absorbed, all the while asking myself how I wanted it to end. I never did figure it out, I reached the finale before I could make up my mind, and it shocked me and shook me so badly that I’m still thinking about it now, weeks after I’ve read it. Twittering from the Circus of the Dead is a zombie story told by means of tweets, and very efficiently so. It creeped me the hell out, and it’s another one I’m still thinking about now and will definitely re-read.
Full Throttle is a solid collection that I’d happily recommend to short story lovers!
Witches Sail in Eggshells by Chloe Turner is the exception to the abovementioned rule: I loved every single one of these tales. This is a collection of the shortest short stories I’ve ever come across, but it is simply astonishing how much Chloe Turner can accomplish in but a few pages. The scene is set, the story builds, and reaches a finale, an apotheosis I wouldn’t deem possible if I hadn’t witnessed it myself multiple times over in this gorgeous little book. Writing short stories is an art, and the stories told here are what most authors would need 100 pages to tell. It’s baffling, in the very best way. Each and every story seems like a calm drive down a deserted country lane, until a sharp left, or a sharp right, or a complete U-turn knocks you off your socks. The venom, but also the beauty, is definitely in the tail. A seemingly ordinary tale turns sinister or emotional in a heartbeat with that perfect final sentence, and more than a few of these stories quite literally took my breath away with those final words. I wanted to read the whole book in one go, which I almost never experience with short story collections, and at the same time I wanted to pace myself, to savour it, make it last. Don’t let the witches in the title fool you, this isn’t fantasy of any kind, although there is a mystical element to some of the stories, and definitely some folklore.
If you’re looking for a collection of eerie, almost otherworldly stories I cannot recommend this one enough!
All my thanks to Amanda @ BookishChat for putting this on my radar! Check out her full review here.
Thanks for joining me today! Are you a short story lover, or do you prefer a more meaty story? Be sure to tell me below! I love having a short story collection on the go at all times, so let me know your recommendations!